My condition was liver cancer and was very advanced when it was eventually diagnosed on the Isle of Man.
I was tired all the time and could not enjoy food as the size of the tumour meant that I would feel bloated after meals. I could not even drink any liquid after meals as it was pressing on my stomach.
The surgery has not so much changed my life – but given me life
I do not drink a lot of alcohol – just the occasional glass of wine or couple of pints – but I was finding that if I had any alcohol at all, one pint of lager for example, I would feel hung-over the following day.
I was having tests due to my symptoms and was eventually sent for an ultra sound by the consultant on the Island. It then became clear that I had a large mass attached to my liver.
I was referred to a liver specialist in Liverpool, and after a CT scan, he advised me that the tumour was too large and in a too dangerous position for him to operate. He recommended that I see Professor Peter Lodge in Leeds as he might be able to help me.
On going to Leeds, Peter Lodge told me that there was a window of opportunity and that he would operate on the tumour. He performed the surgery in June 2000 – but advised me that smaller tumours might develop after the operation.
The operation was a success and he managed to remove the tumour which I believe weighed about two kilos.
Nine months later small tumours did develop which were identified during a routine scan on the Island. On advising Peter Lodge of the situation I was booked back into Spire Leeds Hospital within a week and the tumours were removed. Since then there has been no reoccurrence of the liver cancer.
Peter Lodge kept a close eye on me over the years and found a small tumour in my lung five years ago. This was found during one of my regular check ups and he arranged for me to see a consultant who specialises in that field and that was also dealt with in Leeds.
My experience under the care of Peter Lodge has been amazing. His friendly attitude has kept me going despite some worrying times, and without him I certainly would not be here today.
He has allowed me to see my two daughters get married and enjoy the birth of my two granddaughters. I am now looking forward to the birth of my third grandchild. None of this would have been possible without Peter Lodge.
The surgery I had has not so much changed my life – but given me my life.
I had a large hepatocellular carcinoma (cancerous liver tumour) and without immediate surgery, I would have died, it is as simple as that.
After being referred to Professor Peter Lodge by my gastroenterologist, I had a ‘left hepatic trisectionectomy’ which basically involved the surgical removal of 75-85 percent of my liver.
What was my experience like?
Well, firstly, without the operation I wouldn’t be typing this.
Peter is not at all a stereotypical consultant – he is more like your mate in the pub – someone you can sit and have a pint with. His matter-of-fact yet calm and thoughtful approach made me feel totally at ease despite the stakes (it was touch and go).
From the day I met him I just felt that if anyone could deal with the problem this was the guy to do it, and after the surgery he was equally fantastic. He was matter-of-fact, warm, informative and humorous – all at the same time.
“Left hepatic trisectionectomy is regarded as the most difficult of all major liver operations so it is rarely done. In most centres Mike would have been regarded as having inoperable disease”
Professor Peter Lodge
Peter is a personable, highly likeable man – clearly expert at what he does, but more than that he is just…a nice bloke. I’m finding it quite hard to put this into words but he made a life threatening situation feel like something akin to having a tooth out, but did not withhold any of the risks involved or minimise what was at stake.
How has it changed my life?
In a word “totally”. It is fairly straightforward – I would not be here without it.
Since the surgery (in 2005), it spurred me on to start my own business.
I’ve travelled to Africa – four times now to the Sahara – a place I now love.
I’ve been on Masterchef, I’ve climbed mountains both here and abroad (which I hadn’t done before). I’ve learnt to weld, I’ve learnt how to fix cars and 4×4 vehicles and modify them – I have done things which I never even considered before.
Each year since the surgery I’ve had a CT scan. 2011 was the first year without, though I am due one in 2012. Last time I saw Peter was in 2010 for my scan results (clear) and one thing really touched me. My file was on his desk and it was open. In it was a handmade card (a greetings type card). I knew that due to the style of card it was from my mother. I can only assume it was a thank you type card but it was incredibly touching that he had kept it in the file.
As I said earlier, I’ve met lots of consultants. Some nice ones, some not so nice. But Peter is simply not your typical consultant, he’s more like a mate you would go to in a time of crisis because you know he’s able to help with it. And to me he is Peter, he isn’t “Professor Lodge”, because despite his expertise and qualifications, I don’t view him with formality because he is really just a great guy with an incredible talent, both surgically, and from a social perspective in terms of dealing with people.
Words can’t really express what a pleasure (what a word for the circumstances!) it was to meet Peter, to deal with him and to continue to deal with him 6 years after the event.